Durban - Hoping to take advantage of the divisions within the ANC, opposition parties have called for by-elections in eThekwini Municipality to elect new leadership.
Opposition parties made the call soon after the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) announced that it had recalled its eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede who is facing fraud and corruption charges in relation to the city's multimillion rand solid waste tender.
Gumede, her deputy Fawzia Peer and Speaker William Mapena were among eight members of the city’s executive to be recalled following a special PEC meeting held in Durban early this week.
EFF’s KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Vusi Khoza described the ANC in eThekwini as being vulnerable.
He called on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to place the Metro under administration.
“It should also be dissolved so that fresh elections could be held so the people of eThekwini get the opportunity to elect new councillors and give them a mandate to take the city, which has collapsed and on the brink of bankruptcy, forward,” said Khoza.
He said since the ANC in eThekwini was factionalised by those who support Gumede and those against her, opposition stood a good chance.
“It would also be a blessing in disguise for the eThekwini residents if there was a by-election for the entire municipality as this would be an opportunity to think again before they vote,” said Khoza.
He said it was a concern that 53 out of 54 municipalities failed to get a clean audit report from Auditor-General Kim Makwetu.
“Therefore local government in the province has collapsed under the ANC's watch, and we would want consequences,” said Khoza.
Khoza called on Gumede to spill the beans about other ANC officials who were allegedly involved in corrupt activities.
IFP national chairperson Blessed Gwala said the PEC should encourage Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to put eThekwini under administration in order to end corruption in the city.
“While it (the city) is under administration they must identify a suitable person to take over as the mayor for the last few months since we are heading for the local government elections,” Gwala said.
DA leader Zwakele Mncwango said the ANC was “unfortunately” like a popular brand of soft drink that appealed to consumers despite its dangerous side effects.
“No matter how we talk about corruption and people get to know about what the ANC has done and has not done you still find people who have blind loyalty,” said Mncwango.
“The opposition must play its role of engaging with voters to make them understand the problem,” he said.